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Old 08-03-2013, 04:01 PM   #1
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Do air bags on the pickup help improve chucking from the 5ver?

We have a 2005 Dodge Ram 3500 SRW long bed, Cummins, 48RE 4-speed automatic, pulling a 32' Domani 5th wheel by Carriage. MorRyde shock absorbing pin box. GVW 12k, approx 2k on the pin. When the trailer is coupled, the pickup bed settles 5" and is level. The primary leaf springs have settled to the point where the overloads have some weight on them but they have a lot of arch in their shape. The ride quality is poor with the trailer chucking against the hitch, constantly. I am considering adding rear airbags to the truck.

I would like to hear from anybody who has actually done this and can compare the ride before and after airbag installation. Thanks in advance.

BriLynne
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Old 08-03-2013, 04:20 PM   #2
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Airbags won't help fore/aft motion of the trailer. We went from a solid to a GlideRide pinbox on the 5th wheel, and that removed 90% or more of the chucking.

If you're not satisfied with the ride quality of the truck, you're probably ready for new shocks. On our previous 2002 Dodge, I went with the adjustable Rancho 9000 shocks front and rear, and they improved the ride significantly. They can be adjusted from Cadillac soft and mushy to race car firm and anything in between. Airbags will help the sag in the rear of the truck, and they might actually soften the ride a bit by getting the truck up off the overloads.


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Old 08-03-2013, 05:01 PM   #3
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I can't provide a "before and after" scenario, but I have used both MorRyde and 5th Airborne and the only time I started feeling any "chucking" was travelling with all tanks about 1/2 full or so, I'm guessing the water sloshing was causing some minor chucking because I stopped at a dump station and problem went away. Do you know your pin weight? If you're dropping 5" when you hook up, that sounds heavy, 1 T truck shouldn't squat that much I don't think.
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Old 08-03-2013, 09:39 PM   #4
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Airbags will help with the squatting, but it won't soften the ride. That's from first hand experience. If you put airbags on your truck, and think that you'll put enough air in to "level" the truck, I think you really won't be happy with the results. You're gonna feel like your trailer is lifting your truck off the ground as it travels down the road. Too me, airbags did nothing for the chucking.
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Old 08-04-2013, 12:11 AM   #5
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Thanks everyone, I think I will save my money.

I believe my pin weight is about 2,100 lbs, based on a recent visit to Cat Scales while fully loaded. I think my issue might be initiated by the trailer. I can watch it in the mirror and it is constantly rocking back and forth, pushing and pulling on the hitch. It has Dexter TorFlex axles, which do not accommodate shock absorbers other than the rubber cords inside the axle tubes. I think if it incorporated shocks it might be better.
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Old 08-04-2013, 06:20 AM   #6
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I opted for additional spring plies to protect my spring packs and raise my loaded truck. I have reasons to believe that airbags leave the springs packs unloaded and your get axle twist. More common on 1/2 tons. My 2 additional plies have improved the loaded drive and stability and hardly affected the unloaded ride of my F250. Most SRW trucks with a 5th wheel attached will ride on the overloads. Mine was on the overloads before the helper ply would take any load.
Much less height change for unhooking without airbags.
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Old 08-04-2013, 06:32 AM   #7
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Take a look at this video. Is this what you're experiencing??

Demco Glide Ride

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Old 08-04-2013, 08:17 PM   #8
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I added air bags - RideRites- when I built my dually. What I do is air them up until I'm just off the overloads.
I replaced the stock shocks with Bilsteins as well. The only "Chucking" I have can be attributed to the slop in the hitch itself. I have a Superglide with reese rails mounted in the bed. There's movement in the area where the superglide feet go into the bedrails and get pinned.
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Old 08-04-2013, 08:28 PM   #9
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I run air bags and my truck rides great now , I measure the truck hight before I place the fth wheel on it and air it back up to stock ride hight about 55 pounds no chucking at all
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Old 08-04-2013, 09:17 PM   #10
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Choice of hitch can make a difference. Previous truck had a goose neck hitch so a Companion hitch was my choice. Had very little chucking with this setup. bought 2012 Chevy 3500 dually and has had to get new hitch, PullRight (need rails for this truck). This one chucks noticeably more.
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Old 08-04-2013, 09:28 PM   #11
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Old 08-05-2013, 07:26 AM   #12
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I have MorRyde pinbox also - - it helped immensely on the chucking, but still was not satisfied. I went with an Air Safe hitch - - wow, what a difference. Expensive, but well worth the money, plus the additional cushioning on the frame of the fiver is well worth the peace of mind. I had frame failure in Alaska in the kingpin area - - too many hard bumps in Newfoundland, Yukon and Alaska. The air hitch has made a huge difference. I only settle about 4" when I hook up my Carriage and I have 3200# pinweight.

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Old 08-05-2013, 06:32 PM   #13
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Maybe a dumb question, but is the pressure in the air ride pin box adjusted right? If mine is too low, I get a rougher ride.
Pulled the gooseneck flatbed today, reminded me how much I love my air ride FW, I still have a stiff neck.
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Old 08-06-2013, 11:50 PM   #14
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You said your 1T pickup settles 5" when your 5er is hooked up. That is a lot of weight to make a 1T squat that much, and your 5er lists an UVW of 9,000#(might not be right there) Have you weighed your rig? Is it setting level when hooked up? About 18-20% of total 5er weight should be on the pin/truck rear axle, depending on 5er design. If your hitch is installed behind the rear axle center-line that is likely the problem. Most 5er hitches are installed so the pin is about 2" in front of the rear axle, it depends entirely on year, make and model truck per Reese installation requirements.
My 02 Chevy dually squats about 2" when our 15,500# 5er was hooked up. The bed-height caused our 5er to sit 3" nose-high and it chucked some. I raised the 5er on the axles to obtain level and it eliminated chucking (well, except when I hit that huge frost-heave in YT, Canada)
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